Mar 28, 2015, 5:38 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 28, 33 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.
Five thoughts on the Redskins’ offseason moves to date:
—I think that everyone was looking for some moves to be made along the defensive line but the total upheaval caught many by surprise. Out were three players who started a combined 126 games in the last four seasons in Jarvis Jenkins (33 starts), Barry Cofield (51), and Stephen Bowen (45). In are Stephen Paea, Terrance Knighton, and Ricky Jean Francois. Paea and Knighton are the most important, giving the Redskins a presence in the middle of the line they just haven’t had.
—The team would not have fallen apart if Niles Paul had gone elsewhere but they are better off with him, given his special teams contributions and the difficulties that Jordan Reed has staying on the field. I am a bit concerned that the Redskins lowballed him on his contract. Paul isn’t a player who would have broken the bank but three years, $6 million seems a bit low for a player who was as productive as Paul was when given a chance. With all of the money being throw around it seems they could have thrown a bit more Paul’s way.
—Chris Culliver could be the Redskins’ best cornerback at least since DeAngelo Hall was in his prime and perhaps even going back to Shawn Springs in the mid 2000’s. The signing shows that Scot McCloughan is willing to take a bit of a chance on a player with some trouble in his recent past. We’ll have to trust that he looked into the hit-and-run and brass knuckles charges from last year and is satisfied that such issues are unlikely to return.
—They took a gamble of another sort by pretty much handing Jeron Johnson the starting strong safety job. He had just one start and some scattered defensive snaps over his four years in Seattle. McCloughan does have some insight into him having been with the Seahawks organization recently but you just don’t know what a player can do until he does it. In an ideal world, the Redskins would have signed Johnson as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and would have patiently groomed him for the starting job. But the reality was that they had to get someone else to do the developing for them.
—At the owners meetings McCloughan said that he had no ties to any of the players here and that every roster spot is open. We hear about competition for a lot but we rarely really see it. Either the competition is a sham and the pre-determined starters are never in jeopardy of losing their jobs or the depth is not strong enough for a serious challenge. I’ll be curious to see if, say, Will Compton gets a shot at beating out Perry Riley at Jack linebacker. Will Ryan Grant get a chance to push Andre Roberts for snaps? If street free agent Tyler Larsen outplays center Kory Lichtensteiger, will he get the job? I think McCloughan means what he says but I’ll believe a lot more when I see it.
—It’s been 90 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 169 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 23; 2015 NFL Draft 33; Redskins training camp starts 124
If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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